The NFL coaching carousel
Well, its that time of year in the NFL. Yes, it is playoff time, and its also layoff time as several coaches have either received their walking papers or decided to leave on their own accord. Here are my thoughts on the coaching changes:
Bill Cowher- I am sure that he will resume coaching sooner rather than later, most seem to think he will be out of football for one year (which is also the amount of time left on his contract with the Steelers) and then he will return. At that point, Bill will be able to pretty much pick from the open jobs on the market at that time. The guy has done a great job with the Steelers, is the kind of coach players love, and still being in his mid-40's, I would be shocked if he was done with coaching.
Nick Saban- Totally different story here with Saban. After denying to basically anyone that would listen to him that he was not going to leave the Dolphins to coach the Crimson Tide, he decided to do just that anyway. Why he could not just say no comment instead of lying to everyone is beyond me. I don't blame the guy for taking the job, but the way he did it was pretty sleazy. Can you say "Won't ever get a shot in the NFL again?"
Art Shell- I have mixed feelings about Art Shell losing his job, on one hand he inherited a lousy team, but on the other hand leaving the offense to Tom Walsh after he had been out of the game for something close to a decade, not a smart move. I pity the guy that takes over this team. He will get some talent on defense without a doubt, but the offense is not so good, and then you have to deal with the likes of the "me first group", capably led by Randy Moss and Jerry Porter. Yikes!
Dennis Green- I would have been shocked if he kept this job. Rumors are circulating about Pete Carroll coming here, but that would only happen if he gets total control, which I don't think he will. Also, since Pete has such a good situation already going for him at USC (and the Bidwell's are known for being frugal too) including being well paid, I am not sure Pete Carroll will want to leave all that for this team. Not to say that one of these seasons he won't make the jump to the NFL, but I doubt it will be this time. As far as Green goes, this team has too much talent to do as poorly as they did this year.
Other coaches on the hot seat:
Romeo Crennel,- He just fired a bunch of assistant coaches, so that will probably buy him one more year as long as the Browns improve. I will have to say they have had a freakish number of injuries the past couple of years to key players though (Winslow,Edwares, Bentley, Baxter). Maybe his luck will change.
Jack Del Rio- I thought he might get fired this off season, but it does not appear that will happen. He also purged a number of his assistant coaches, which makes me suspect it was one of those deals where he was told to make some changes if he wanted to keep his job. He still has to figure out who is going to play QB for next year, and if its not Leftwich (and presumably it won't be) then they should try to move him for draft picks if nothing else.
Tom Coughlin- They did make the playoffs, we shall see in a few hours what happens there, but you have to thing the powers that be cannot be happy with the situation there. Sometimes it sounds as if they are on the edge of a full blown mutiny there.
Those are my thoughts, it will be interesting who goes to what team to fill these jobs. At least they did change the rules so assistant coaches for playoff teams can be interviewed during the bye week.